Worm Vs Caterpillar: What’s the Difference?

If you’re looking at a slimy, segmented creature and wondering whether it’s a worm or caterpillar, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to tell the difference between these two types of creatures, but there are actually several key characteristics that set them apart. Keep reading to learn more about the difference between worms and caterpillars!

What are Worms?

Worms are a type of invertebrate, meaning they lack a backbone. There are many different types of worms, but the most common type is the earthworm. Earthworms live in soil and help to aerate and break down organic matter. Worms are an important part of the ecosystem and are often used as bait for fishing.

While earthworms are the most common type of worm, there are many other types of worms as well. These include segmented worms, flatworms, roundworms, and more. Each type of worm has its own unique characteristics, but they all lack a backbone.

What are Caterpillars?

Caterpillars are the larvae of moths and butterflies. They are cylindrical in shape and have a hard exoskeleton. Caterpillars have six legs, two pairs of which are located near their head. They also have large mouths with mandibles that they use to eat leaves. Some caterpillars are brightly colored, while others are drabber.

Caterpillars go through several stages of growth, or instars. When they first hatch from their eggs, they are very small. They will molt, or shed their skin, several times as they grow larger. Just before they pupate, or transform into adult moths or butterflies, they will be at their largest size.

Caterpillars are often considered to be pests because they can damage crops as they feed on the leaves. However, many people also find them to be interesting creatures. Some caterpillars even have toxins in their bodies that can make them poisonous to predators.

The Difference Between Worms and Caterpillars

As kids, we often lumped all slimy, wriggly creatures into one category: gross! But as we’ve gotten older (and hopefully wiser), we’ve come to realize that there’s a big difference between worms and caterpillars. Namely, caterpillars turn into butterflies, and that definitely doesn’t happen with worms.

So what exactly is the difference between these two creatures? For starters, caterpillars have six true legs, while worms have none. Caterpillars also have false legs called prolegs, which help them grip surfaces as they move. Worms don’t have these either.

Caterpillars are also typically much hairier than worms. And while both creatures can be a variety of colors, caterpillars will usually be brighter and more vividly colored than worms. This is likely because they need to stand out to predators.

When it comes to eating habits, both caterpillars and worms are voracious eaters. However, they tend to eat different things. Caterpillars mostly munch on leaves, while worms are more likely to eat decaying matter or smaller insects.

Finally, the biggest difference between these two creatures is their eventual fate.

Which is Better? Worms or Caterpillars?

If you’re wondering whether it’s better to have worms or caterpillars in your garden, you’re not alone. Both have their pros and cons, so it’s important to understand the difference between the two before making a decision.

Worms are great for aerating the soil and adding nutrients, but they can also be destructive if they get into your plants. Caterpillars, on the other hand, are less likely to cause damage to your plants but can be a nuisance if they’re in large numbers. So, which is better? It really depends on your individual needs.

How to Tell if You Have a Worm or a Caterpillar

If you’re not sure whether you have a worm or a caterpillar, there are a few ways to tell the difference. First, take a look at the creature’s body. Caterpillars have a segmented body, while worms do not. Caterpillars also have six legs, while worms have either none or very few legs.

Another way to tell the difference is by looking at what the creature is eating. Caterpillars eat leaves, while worms eat dirt and decaying matter. Finally, caterpillars typically turn into butterflies or moths, while worms do not undergo this transformation.

What to Do With a Worm or Caterpillar

Have you ever found a worm or caterpillar and wondered what to do with it? Well, wonder no more! Here is a helpful guide on what to do with a worm or caterpillar.

If you find a worm, the best thing to do is to put it back into the ground. Worms are great for the environment and help keep the soil healthy. If you find a caterpillar, you can either let it turn into a butterfly or you can keep it as a pet!


As you can see, there are a few key differences between worms and caterpillars. For one, caterpillars have legs and can move around, while worms do not. Additionally, caterpillars go through a metamorphosis to become butterflies or moths, while worms simply grow and mature.

Caterpillars are also generally brightly colored, while worms tend to be more drab. Finally, while both creatures can be found in gardens or in the wild, caterpillars have often considered pests whereas worms are often seen as helpful for breaking down organic matter.